Performance audit of the operational stage of long-term partnerships for the private sector provision of public services

Linda M. English*, James Guthrie, Jane Broadbent, Richard Laughlin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates the challenges associated with designing a system to evaluate the mature operating phase of long-term partnerships with the private sector for the provision of public services (PPPS), an area largely neglected by a performance audit (PA) focus. It argues that assessing economy, efficiency and effectiveness (the three Es) are key to any PA, but that their nature is contextually defined; that auditing for effectiveness involves going beyond a 'watchdog' to a 'sheepdog' role; and that internal evaluation procedures provide insights that are necessary, but not necessary and sufficient to evaluating the achievement of the three Es in the PPPS mature operating stage. Findings are based on an analysis of the literature and an engagement with an audit office. The paper elucidates the meaning of each of the three Es in the context of PA of the PPPS mature operating stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-75
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Accounting Review
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

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